FINAL: Fleetwood 3, Quaker Valley 2, OT
Quaker Valley settled for a split in season opening weekend action at the Annual East-West Classic, falling to defending PIAA 2A Boys champions Fleetwood, 3-2, in a match that was decided in the first minute of overtime at Highmark Stadium on Saturday.
Fleetwood capitalized on an early advance into the final third in the opening minute of overtime, after a cross from the far right side found its way to the near post area. Pouncing on the game-winner was junior Hunter Smith who quickly redirected the ball into the goal before Quaker Valley’s keeper Rees Edwards to get to it.
It was a back and forth affair, with the Quakers Dom Reiter scoring two first half goals, one in the third minute, then another in the 25th minute — after Fleetwood leveled the match only moments earlier.
ED THOMPSON PHOTO GALLERY
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Quakers started off strong, with a chance in the first minute with Rowan Kriebel getting a solid chance that was saved by Fleetwood’s Zach Haas.
Fleetwood responded in the 15th minute, as Aidan Negron’s shot in back of the net was a no-doubt-about-it blast giving Edwards little chance to deny it.
Dom Reiter found the back of the net again to give the Quakers its second lead, when Kriebel played a low ball through from the right side. Reiter appeared surprised at first it got through, but remained composed, then found room with a pair of defenders between him to beat Fleetwood’s keeper inside the left post.
Quaker Valley kept bringing numbers forward.
Wil Dunda’s shot from the edge of the 18 forced Haas to punch it away a shot that was going in!
Fleetwood made the most of its opportunity on a corner kick just three minutes into the second half for the equalizer. After the initial ball in was deflected, it bounced to the middle of the box where Adam Foweiler stepped into a shot that rolled through everyone to level the contest.
The open play of the early parts of the second half gave way to stretches where neither team could do much as Fleetwood commanded more possession, but Quaker Valley looked more dangerous when dissecting its opponents with precise passing in quick counter opportunities.
Neither team could come away with the game-winner in regulation, and East-West Classic’s final match would have to go to extra time.
Fleetwood, though, wouldn’t waste any time.
Just 53 seconds into the first overtime, after winning a throw-in opportunity deep in the final third, they quickly sent a cross toward the near post, where Hunter Smith was in the right place at the right time to knock home the game winning goal.
Fleetwood finished the East-West Classic as the lone squad to walk away with two wins, while Quaker Valley, now 1-1, gears up for a few more non-section encounters before entering on its quest to win its first WPIAL title in three years, and return to Highmark Stadium for the fourth consecutive season.
POST GAME INTERVIEW – ANDREW MARSHALL – QUAKER VALLEY HEAD COACH
POST GAME INTERVIEW – DOM REITER – QUAKER VALLEY SENIOR FORWARD